While waiting to meet an old friend and mentor at the Colonial Inn in Concord, MA I noticed this plaque commemorating the “Creed of the Postal Service”. This is different than the one that we are most familiar with “Neither snow nor rain nor heat nor gloom of night stays these couriers from the swift completion of their appointed rounds.”
Creed of the Postal Service
Messenger of Sympathy and Love;
Servant of Parted Friends;
Consoler of the Lonely;
Bond of the Scattered Family;
Enlarger of the Common Life;
Carrier of News and Knowledge;
Instrument of Trade and Industry;
Promoter of Mutual Acquaintance;
Of Peace and Goodwill,
Among Men and Nations.
– Charles W. Eliot
In a period of time when we are preparing our strategic plans and finalizing our new year’s goals, this struck home. What a great personalization of the job of the Postal Worker. Imagine if this was your job description- would your passion for your work be different? It seems to me that being “a messenger of sympathy and love” is a more fulfilling description of their role versus “swift completion of my appointed rounds”. I know that for me, it makes a compelling reason to make sure that I get that letter or package to its final destination.
Your creed, core values, motto or primary cause is the reason that you started your business, and it needs to be concise and personalized so that everyone on your team will adopt it passionately as their own and deliver on it consistently. Sometimes ,we all need a reminder for the reasons we do the work we do. My thanks to Dr. Charles W. Eliot for this eloquent description of the Postal Worker’s role.
It is time for me to revisit my creed; how about you?
(The original text of the above inscription was called “The Letter” and was written by Dr. Charles W. Eliot, former president of Harvard University. President Woodrow Wilson changed the text slightly before the inscription was carved in the white granite of the former Washington D.C. Post Office.)